Are you pouring your heart and soul into making your relationship work and sense that you are not getting the same in return?
We have all played the tedious game whereby we swoon and fall for the perfect man, bend over backwards to get him to notice you, and realize too little too late that he is completely unavailable emotionally.
This is especially frustrating when you really like him and want to take the relationship to the next level. More often than not, emotionally unavailable men will be all up for fun and games but once you start steering the relationship towards becoming something more serious, they go running for the hills.
The three main characteristics of emotionally unavailable men
So what exactly puts a man into the “emotionally unavailable” category? Generally, they tend to exhibit three basic characteristics.
#1 First of all, they tend to be poor communicators.
This means that they are unwilling to share their thoughts and feelings with you and prefer to keep things locked up.
#2 Next, they tend to be full of excuses. Whether it is explaining why he had to cancel on you yet again, or telling you why he just cannot see himself committing right now, he will be full of reasons why he cannot give you what you need.
#3 Lastly, guys who are emotionally unavailable tend to run from serious commitments. They detest long-term plans and choose to avoid discussions about the future, no matter how great the relationship is going.
Unfortunately, men with emotional problems are aplenty. Most of the time, it is hard to weed them out from the mass of other eligible bachelors on the market. From a cute investment banker in expensive custom made shoes, to a sexy scuba instructor in a form fitting wetsuit, men with emotional problems are everywhere. It all comes down to trial and error and if you are unlucky enough to snag a man with emotional deficiencies, you just have to deal with it. [Read: 10 sure signs the guy you’re dating has the fear of commitment]
5 clear giveaways of an emotionally unavailable man
Fortunately, there are some early warning signs that you can pay attention to. By catching these signs early, you will be able to save yourself the heartache and drama that comes with dating an emotionally crippled man. Unless you are fine with the relationship having an expiration date, keep in mind that you should not turn a blind eye toward these red flags.
#1 Big Talker
The first red flag that he is emotionally handicapped is when you start noticing that he is nothing but all talk. Men like these enjoy talking about themselves. Do not mistake big talk with being proud of one’s achievements. There is no harm in taking pride in an accomplishment.
Learn to note the subtle differences between the two. For example, there is nothing wrong when he says, “My article on the political and religious plight in Gaza was recently nominated for a reader’s choice award. Fingers crossed I win.” However, if he says something like, “I know that my article is kick ass and it is about time that I get recognition for my work. The other douche bags who are up against me do not stand a chance. Let’s celebrate tonight.” [Read: 16 reasons why your boyfriend’s so mean]
Men who are emotionally unavailable have a tendency to not only brag about themselves, but unabashedly place themselves up on a pedestal. He will also tend to brag about materialistic things such as the amount of money and stuff that he has, influential people he knows, how much he spent on his latest gadget, and other ridiculous things that should mean nothing.
Talking big also extends to empty promises. He will make a million promises and follow up on none. Examples are talking about weekend getaway plans and when it comes down to the actual planning will make excuses on why he cannot make it, promising to show up at a family event and then canceling at the last minute, and many more. More often than not, men like these spend plenty of time talking about themselves to elevate their status in other people’s eyes and when it comes down to actually performing the deed, flake out.
#2 Attention Whore
Men with emotional deficiencies also love the spotlight. When it comes to them, there is no such thing as being modest or taking a step back and allowing someone else to bask in the limelight. Their ego is usually huge and this prevents them from being modest, even if it’s just for a moment. There is nothing wrong with being comfortable in various social settings and if you find a man who is a social guru and can get along with people from all walks of life, then good on you.
However, you have to be able to differentiate between an attention whore and a social butterfly. When a man is a massive attention seeker, there is a high chance that he is seeking validation for something, or is trying to compensate for a shortcoming. Attention whores usually display distinct bouts of jealousy, narcissism, arrogance and low self-confidence. If you find it hard to believe that massive attention seekers will cause you grief in the future, remember that when a man is not comfortable and happy with himself and has to seek validation from others, he is probably not going to be happy with you either. [Read: 16 attention whore signs to watch out for!]
Over time, he may shift the attention from himself over to you and expect you to adhere to certain norms and standards that he sets out and if you are unable to conform to his rules, he will dump you. Always keep in mind that when a man measures his self worth based on how many compliments he gets from others, he is probably not mature and secure enough to be who is he and will not be able to give you the emotional stability that you desire.
#3 Shady History
There is no denying that emotionally unavailable men tend to have questionable pasts. The experiences that they have undergone may have unconsciously led them to behave the way that they do in the present. Within the first several weeks of dating him, you should be able to garner indications of a shady history, particularly from details to do with his past relationships.
Knowing why and how he was single when he met you may explain why he behaves the way he does. For example, if he was traumatized because of a cheating spouse, it is not surprising that he wants to take it slow with you. Give him the time and space that he needs to fully trust you if that is the case. However, if you hear through the grapevine or from the horse’s mouth that he was the one who did all the cheating, pick up your skirts, run off into the sunset and leave him in the dust. [Read: Why do men really cheat? – 3 big reasons and 27 more!]
You have to realize that no matter how awesome he says you are, if he could cheat on her, he will probably cheat on you too. Something else that you have to remember is to shelf your bleeding heart. You will never be able to change a man no matter how hard you try. So forget it if you think that you can erase his bad boy habits and turn him into a fit-for-Disney-cartoon type of prince.
Although everyone deserves a second chance and should not be judged based on their past selves, you should not take the risk if you are truly looking for a stable man who will be there for you emotionally. [Read: 25 signs and qualities that make a really great boyfriend]
#4 Vague Attitude
Another indication of emotional unavailability is an evasive attitude. He is probably super vague when it comes to discussing his thoughts, goals, feelings and future with you. He probably sidesteps these issues every time you ask about something he is uncomfortable talking about, or steers the entire conversation to another activity or topic. Do not jump to conclusions if he does not immediately share every little emotion with you, especially in the early stages of the relationship.
Many men tend to need time and space before deciding that they are comfortable enough with you to share. However, if plenty of time elapses and nothing changes, you probably have a problem on your hands.
Men who are emotionally crippled also tend to be very vague when it comes to the small stuff. Whether it is explaining why he was an hour late to your lunch date, or why he does not like your group of friends, emotionally unavailable men prefer to be vague on emotional issues that require explanations and details.
#5 Focus On Sex
As much as you may love sex, when you are seeking a stable and long lasting relationship, it is obvious that sex should not be the number one priority. There are two ways that he can use sex to unwittingly prove that he is emotionally unavailable.
The first way is by withholding sex. When you initially start dating, the sex may be phenomenal and constant. However, you may notice the spice seeping out of your sexual relationship and he may seem distracted and bizarrely unwilling to have sex as often as before. An excuse that he may use is, “I cannot seem to have a sexual relationship with someone whom I am emotionally intimate with and am only physically comfortable with ‘bed buddies’.”
If he says anything along those lines, dump him right away and do not settle for a sex-only relationship. He is simply making excuses because he does not want to take things further and is manipulating you to get sex with no strings attached. [Read: 12 signs you’re being subtly manipulated by your partner!]
Another way that he can use sex against you is by giving you all the sex that you could possibly want and need and not committing any other way. Unless you are fine with being his booty call girl, do not delve any further into the relationship.
Always remember that you deserve the very best when it comes to a life partner, so do not settle for someone who is unwilling to give you what you need. There is nothing wrong with setting standards for yourself.
[Read: 16 signs that stop a person from making a serious commitment]
Remember, there are plenty of eligible men out there. So if you find yourself tacking onto a man who is obviously emotionally unavailable, keep these signs in mind and do what is best for you no matter how difficult it may seem.
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